Opiate Addiction and Dependency: The Basics

While opiates can be prescribed by medical professionals to help people recover from injuries and to reduce pain, they can also be dangerous. They are offered in various forms including pills, capsules, patches, and liquids. They are very potent and they can be dangerous if a person doesn’t use them correctly. They should only be used at the dose prescribed and for the interval of time prescribed.

When a person uses opiates, the amount of “feel good? chemicals in the brain are increased. This improves overall mood and it can help them to feel more like taking part in social activities. For those with severe pain or chronic pain, it can be hard to focus on anything else. With the use of Opiates, they are able to get beyond the pain. Yet it was designed to be a temporary assistance, not a permanent dependency.

The reason opioid abuse tends to creep up on people is because of the nature of the substance – it was prescribed by a medical professional, so it’s assumed to be of no harm. This line of thinking is a leading factor in opiate addiction. You may have gotten them legally at one point, but that has ended and you are now seeking a way to keep using them. The body also builds up a tolerance over time. This means you need more and more Opiates in order to get the same feel good sensations you used to with a lower dose. The more you take, the higher your risk of damage to the heart and liver. It is possible to die from taking too large of a dose of Opiates.

The Reasons for Opioid Addiction Treatment

Medical professionals mean well when they prescribe Opiates. However, some people are more vulnerable to an addiction than others. This can be due to a past history of addiction, a low pain tolerance, and even genetics. Studies show about 80% of heroin addicts were first introduced to narcotics in the form of pain medication prescribed by their doctor. With increased regulatory control, many users will shift from prescription opiates to unregulated street drugs.

It is common for the use of Opiates as a addiction to cause other problems in a person’s life. They may struggle to keep a job and their personal relationships may suffer. They may get into legal trouble due to their actions while trying to pay for more drugs. They may have to go to court due to being caught with illegal drugs at some point.

Are Opiates New?

The use of opiates dates back to about 3400 B.C. with the derivative, opium, being taken from the poppy plant. The way in which is it produced and the potency has changed since then, but the rate of people using it as an addiction has been on the rise. It was once used in medical settings rather than morphine, but that has since changed.

Today, a great deal of the opiate prescriptions are in the form of Vicodin and Percocet, two very powerful narcotic painkillers. More than 2 million people in the USA are believed to have an addiction to opiates. This affects all types of people from all walks of life.

Warning Signs of Opiate Addiction

If someone you love is exhibiting the following warning signs, they may have an opiod addiction:

  • Abnormal sleep habits (awake for days at a time, nod of while engaged in an activity)
  • Chronic itching
  • Confusion
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Flu like symptoms that linger
  • Raspy voice
  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden weight loss

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can last varying amounts of time, from a few days, to over a week depending on the severity of the users habit. Symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Pain in the joints or muscles
  • Restless legs
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting or dry heaves

Commonly Abused Opiates

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl (Duragesic)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin)

Our Opiod Treatment Program at Sanctuary Health Group

Getting you or your loved one who is addicted to opiates into an inpatient detox, and treatment is very important. The mind and body will struggle when the drugs are working their way out of their system. The pain can also be very severe for them to deal with without the drugs, and can be a major concern for dangerous relapses. We recommend that you do not attempt to detox at home, and utilize a safe, medical detox like we offer at our Lake Ariel and Sanctuary at Cherry Hill treatment centers.

Our trained staff will help you detox from opiates in a supervised, medical environment. After your admission assessment with our medical team, we will be able to craft a personalized treatment plan for you and order the appropriate prescriptions to help with the discomfort from withdrawal symptoms. All of our opioid dependency patients are monitored 24 hours a day, so you and your loved ones can rest assured that the first step in recovery is being handled safely and as painlessly as possible.

Once the opiate detox is successfully completed, our medical staff will build a personalized opiate addiction treatment program for you. Everyone’s addiction and recovery are different, and we believe in setting our patients up with the tools and habits to make transition to a healthy, happy life that is suited for your unique situation. Our clinical team will work with you and your family to build an aftercare plan that’s best suited for you.

If you or a loved one are struggling with opiate abuse, call today. Treatment for opiate abuse is available, and we are available 24 hours a day , 7 days a week to help.